Theatre Chronicles, 1937-1962

Theatre Chronicles, 1937-1962

Theatre Chronicles, 1937-1962

Theatre Chronicles, 1937-1962

Excerpt

For the current reader, the point of view of this book may be hard to locate; where is this criticism coming from? "It is to be hoped that Mr. Young will devote himself to one of Chekhov's more mature plays." So The Seagull in a distinguished dramatic critic's adaptation was dismissed by an insufferable little-magazine reviewermyself, twenty years ago. This probably could not have happened in England, or France or Italy, even during the thirties; only in America, or rather in a tiny section of New York, could an air of supreme authority be assumed with so few credentials.

In the first fourth of the book the reader will find quite a few such sentences, which make me wince with pain to read over but which I have let stand, in the interests of the record and because I think anyone who could write so foolishly owes a debt to society that cannot be cancelled out by the mere process of getting older. But it is not usually the opinions I aired (as in this case) that give me such pain to hear again; it is the tone of voice in which they are pronounced -- the voice of a young, earnest, pedantic, pontificating critic, being cocksure and condescending.

The playwright assumes that his hero's irresolution is . . .

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